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Audio over IP - and Intercom over IP - here is a short recording

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Pete Erskine:
During the next three weeks Clair Broadcast will be doing an event which covers 7 cities each week. In each site we will be using Riedel Artist systems. Between the sites we use Intracom System VCOM. Each site will have 6 comm channels interfaced, an IFB feed from the main site and Backup Mix minus audio for the entire satellite connected group. Each interfaced channel will be 32K bandwidth.

The VCOM system works with a server, In this case in Arizona and a backup server in another state. Using a server enables every site to avoid the problems interconnecting from NAT enabled Hotel sites since they are pointing at the main server and not at each other.

The Backup audio is interfaced through the server in a PL group. This automatically creates a mix minus for each site since the 4-wire incoming ports normally do not listen to themselves.  Also each site must take care to send a mix-(the Sat feed and the BU audio feed).

Latency is comparable to cell phones and in the case of the backup audio is a second or 2 ahead of the main satellite audio. The audio mixer at each site will adjust the input delay on the console to closely match the sat feed. This backup audio is primary in case the sat feed fails - at least they can hear the event. By setting the delay properly, if the sat audio has issues the VCOM audio can sub with good lip sync.

The VCOM admin software track all the stats on the incoming and outgoing connections. This way we can see if a particular site is having issues. A single dial up circuit is available to be used if the internet dies. An elaborate one button switch-over is programmed into each of the Riedel systems.

Here is a short clip done during the fax check of the remote sites.  It is from 2 years ago when we only did 5 cities.  The audio is a mix of the Dir, Producer, TM, Uplink, Comms and Audio channels so it gets a little confusing.  I am also talking over the whole cacophony to make things worse...

Intracom Systems VCOM show recording

Here is their website. https://www.intracomsystems.com/

Bill McKelvey:
Pete, you get to do amazing things. Thanks for sharing with us.

Mac Kerr:
Pretty good audio quality Pete. Wish I had been available.

Mac

Neil White:

--- Quote from: Pete Erskine on September 14, 2015, 08:31:17 pm ---The VCOM system works with a server, In this case in Arizona and a backup server in another state. Using a server enables every site to avoid the problems interconnecting from NAT enabled Hotel sites since they are pointing at the main server and not at each other.

--- End quote ---

Does VCOM require any specific IT set up or is it plug and play on any internet connection? Is the interface to the matrix an off the shelf soundcard with 8 analog in / outs?


--- Quote from: Pete Erskine on September 14, 2015, 08:31:17 pm ---The VCOM admin software track all the stats on the incoming and outgoing connections. This way we can see if a particular site is having issues. A single dial up circuit is available to be used if the internet dies. An elaborate one button switch-over is programmed into each of the Riedel systems.

--- End quote ---

Interested in how the back up is configured, do you make one of the Riedel sites the master with a dial up from there to each of the remote sites?

Looks like a cool gig, and I'm impressed with the audio quality between sites.

Pete Erskine:

--- Quote from: Neil White on September 15, 2015, 05:49:45 am ---Does VCOM require any specific IT set up or is it plug and play on any internet connection? Is the interface to the matrix an off the shelf soundcard with 8 analog in / outs?

Interested in how the back up is configured, do you make one of the Riedel sites the master with a dial up from there to each of the remote sites?

Looks like a cool gig, and I'm impressed with the audio quality between sites.

--- End quote ---

NO special IT setup.  Normally it uses port 1000 which is usually open on most networks.

The backup audio is a dial in to a conference bridge which functions like a PL group.  It feeds each site separately on a BU Director circuit.  All sites continuously feed the BU dial up with the director channel.  most of the sites in a segment just listen.  If they have an issue they just switch tot the BU-DIR.  If the site is presenting all sites must switch to hear them.

By monitoring the VCOM stats we can see in advance when packet loss or jitter is too great for good audio.  Sometimes it is upstream and sometimes down.  Not always both.  Again if the send is bad but the RX good we would stay with VCOM.

The backup server takes a system reboot, essentially which takes a few seconds for all ports to log off and in to the bu server.  It is initiated in the admin program by a single button push.  If all sites started seeing bad packet loss or Jitter we assume it is in the server and would try the other.  The servers are geographically very different with different vendors.

Audio bandwidth can also be adjusted.  If we have packet loss lowering the BW to 16 or 8K might help. 

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